Here is a typical day:
6:30am — Wake to happy baby smiling and flailing all limbs
6:32am — Little Miss is up and in a good mood, too
6:35am — Change baby’s clothes and diaper
6:40am — Supervise Little Miss getting dressed
6:50am — Get breakfast out for Little Miss
6:51am — Feed baby
7:15am — Put baby in gym outside shower and get cleaned up
7:30am — Baby fussing, kick hubby out of bed so that I can finish getting out the door, turn over responsibility of Little Man
7:45am — Wrangle Little Miss out the door, feed dog a bone, load up car with preschool essentials, gym bag, lunches and laptop bag. Little Miss drops a fairy doll under the car, so get on my hands and knees in my work clothes to rescue fairy
8:00am — Get to preschool, get Little Miss in her snow suit, mittens, boots, hat and scarf, then escort to playground. Find fairy stashed in her pocket and confiscate
8:15am — Show up at work, thinking ONE day I will actually get there on time again, and finally get my breakfast
8:15am — 5pm work work work, blah blah blah (quick break for a workout at lunch)
5pm — Rush to preschool to get Little Miss, who is the last one to be picked up, drive to get Little Man
5:30pm — Show up at the stroke of 5:30 (daycare deadline) to get Little Man, chat with daycare provider
5:50pm — Arrive home
6:00pm — Start dinner
6:30-7pm — Dinner (hubby walks in at 6:30 if I’m lucky)
7pm – 8pm — Spend as much quality time as possible with the kids and hubby
8pm — Start Little Miss’ bedtime ritual
8:30pm — Little Miss down, focus on Little Man
9:00pm — Bath for Little Man
9:30pm — Last bottle for Little Man
10pm — Little man down
10:15pm — make lunches for myself and Little Miss for the next day
10:30pm — Get ready for bed
10:45pm — In bed, try to study for my certification exam
10:50pm — Get bored, pull out chick lit
11:00pm — Can’t hold eyes open, go to sleep
Rinse and repeat — over, and over and over again
I’m tired. I think I’m always tired now. After a month of being a working mom of two kids, I can conclude that the balance I felt I had as a working mom of one kid is out the window. I don’t feel like I’m giving anyone enough time right now — Little Miss, Little Man, work, hubby, me… Everyone is having to compromise. I don’t like it, but this is my reality for the foreseeable future.
I’m reading a book about working moms, called Don’t Know How She Does It, and the book has had some brilliant quotes. My favorite went something like this: “Did our predecessors in the 1970s mean to fight for equal opportunity, including the opportunity to spend the least amount of time possible with our kids?”
That, in a nutshell is what I’m feeling. I’m also feeling a self-imposed glass ceiling. I’ve already cut short a business trip and passed up one job opportunity because I’m afraid how it will effect my newly minted, very fragile feeling personal life as a working mom of two. I’m trying to be kind to myself, not taking on too much after only being back one month, but also feel how self limiting that can be.
And you feel the double standard. Like the book says, if a man takes time off work to be with their children, they get kudos for being an involved parent. If a woman does the same, she is weak and undedicated. Men usually don’t impose limits on themselves, figuring it will all work out in the end.
So, I am head down, trying to make this work, and also wondering how I got myself on this hamster wheel. How can I get off of the hamster wheel without jeapordizing the financial well being of my family?
Stay tuned. I’m going to figure this out eventually.